Sunday 20 August 2017

Noonan challenged on why he failed to block scandal-hit €1.6bn deal

FG rally to Kenny as FF weigh up minority power

Michael Noonan. Photo: Tom Burke
Michael Noonan. Photo: Tom Burke

Shane Phelan and Kevin Doyle

Finance Minister Michael Noonan is directly criticised by an inquiry for his handling of the scandal-ridden €1.6bn sale of Nama's Northern Ireland property loan portfolio.

The Stormont Inquiry into the controversial sell-off says it is "unclear" why Mr Noonan did not order the suspension of the sale "given the seriousness" of revelations that a former Nama advisor stood to be paid Stg£5m by a prospective buyer.

The damning findings raise major questions about Mr Noonan's judgment - and come as the Finance Minister is a key strategist as Taoiseach Enda Kenny seeks to steer Fine Gael back into power.

When the new Dáil sits for the first time this morning, Mr Kenny won't be able to form a government.

Within Fianna Fáil, there is a growing view the party would be best served supporting a minority Fine Gael government. But Fine Gael will reject any effort to demand Mr Kenny's removal as Taoiseach of a new government.

Irish Independent

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